June on the Horn: 6.5.2012

Just spent a couple of days on the river. Clear, cold water, lots of moss, and lots of fish. Pretty much sums it up. Many anglers are concentrating on the upper three miles of river because there is less drifting moss. Great fishing up there, but somewhat crowded. There are very few folks on the lower ten miles. Yes, the moss is annoying as you get near Bighorn Rapids, but there are plenty of fish to catch if you want to deal with it. Moss slapping is an art. Go out with a guide if you need to learn the finer points. I’m serious. This is not just shameless guide service promotion, although I’m totally on board with shameless promotion. If you learn to slap moss correctly, it will make you much more efficient and effective as an angler. And maybe you’ll choose to venture down to the moss jungle sections of the river and escape the boat traffic!

Still some Baetis and midges hanging around, and the fish are on them mid-afternoon. A #20 Student is still a top producer. Fish it behind a bigger CDC Sparkle Dun as your indicator fly. Keep the fly drying powder handy. We’re also seeing some tan caddis bouncing around late afternoon and evening on the river near Bighorn Access. And there have even been a few reports of PMDs, although I wouldn’t get too excited about this yet. We should be a few weeks out from good PMD fishing.

Nymph fishing is consistent with Zebra Midges, Flashback Quill Nymphs, and any number of small, sparse patterns with a dark silhouette.